Disclaimer: This is my first international trip and pretty much my like 5th time in an airplane… ya boy is small town baby!
Now, let’s get started
I can talk about tips and tricks for travel, things to know before travel, and the food, but I think that would be a lackluster portrayal of what you gain when going on an international trip for the first time. I want to tell you about my experiences, my memories, and what I got out of this trip. You can read about tips, tricks, and yummy New Zealand food all over the internet!
My experience was a fun one. I met some really cool people, had a blast at work with people who really wanted us to enjoy their country and show us all the great stuff it had to offer, and of course got this kind of individual look into myself and what made me tick… meaning I mean what am I actually passionate about? I think that big question is something college kids really fear, so I want to emphasize it.
Meeting people… the best part of the trip. See, I am a people person. Give me a chance and I will talk your ear right off, and so that is what I did in New Zealand. Now I have stories of hanging out in Queenstown, New Zealand waiting to go to on a tour of one of the 8th wonders of the world, Milford Sound, while I have fish and chips with individuals and new friends from Germany, Ireland, and Italy… and I met them all in one night! I will always cherish how nice of a country this was for me to see the world for the first time via travel.
My company… I cannot tell you guys how much we lucked out with working for a company like Auckland Transport. Our team of supervisors and employees we worked with allowed us to have tangible project experience through taking on an issue with lost property on trains, and presenting the research and findings to their Board of Directors to eventually roll out to their entire transportation network (bus, train, bike, ferry, etc.) We met the best people who really helped us transition easily into the work culture of New Zealand. They wanted us to have a blast, and I really appreciated that from them. They understood the situation! How many times will I be back to New Zealand maybe in my life? (I hope at least once, let’s pray for my financial advances…ALL of our financial advances!!)
I think the theme here is that the decision to go somewhere internationally only gets harder as you get older… so do it now! Start saving the pennies because it is an experience you will always cherish. Making friends with a small group for a month in a country of your choosing (from a list obviously, but so many options), learning about cultures like New Zealand or wherever you may go gives you a view you previously did not have. Looking more into the big picture of business decisions as you progress through your career. That is what I hope you do with this trip!
All in all, this trip should show you a few things about yourself. It will test your strengths and weaknesses, especially in communications with others. My advice is to jump right in, be excited about your opportunity, and understand how lucky you are to really have the option to go abroad for educational purposes and business experience at The Ohio State University. Engage in conversations with people whenever you can on your trip. Soak up the knowledge, and use it to grow your career and relationships with others. Make your views worldly instead of just about yourself. Do that, and people, you will be on the right path to a fabulous life experience.